Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Sing Off – Superstar Medley, Judges’ Challenge & Songs of Hope

Posted by shore On December - 17 - 2009

thesingoff @AndyShore Last night’s episode of the Sing-Off continued to amuse and impress me. Nota and the Beelzebubs are clearly the teams to beat, with the SoCals being the guilty pleasure team I don’t want to admit I’m rooting for. Last night Noteworthy was sent home, marking an end to my Mormom jokes. Don’t fret, there’s still plenty to make fun of in this show. Nicole Scherzinger is still a younger more attractive version of Paula Abdul, Nick Lachey is still years past relevancy and we’re all still watching a singing competition.

8:02 Whole group performances will never be as entertaining as when American Idol attempted them with the mostly blind Scott McIntyre. The fact it took them several weeks to figure out what to do was pure “I’m going to burn in hell for laughing at this” comedy gold.

8:07 2/3 of the judges saluted when introduced. That wasn’t as odd as Ben Folds’ riding on a float, parade wave.

8:08 Nota is definitely my favorite. The Beelzebubs may be just as talented, but they annoy me slightly by calling themselves the Bubs. Plus, Nota is singing “I Want You Back” to start off their Jackson 5 medley. I think this is the first time other than their Matt Spraker look alike has taken lead. He’s solid as well. The percussive parts are once again out of this world.

8:12 Shawn Stockman touched on a point I didn’t even think of during their performance. The seamlessness of their transitions was unbelievable. If I ever have to be given bad news, I want Ben Folds to deliver it to me. That smile and tone never waver.

8:18 The Beelzebubs continue their excellent song selection with a Who medley. Great job getting the close-up of his blue eyes when he sung “Behind Blue Eyes.” They’ve got nothing on Michael Cera. Their second lead is really going for the Roger Daltrey tone. I respect the effort, but he lost some of his notes in the attempt. Their first lead is also failing in the tone during “Baba O’Reilly.”

8:21 The judges loved it, including the rock aspect of their vocals. Perhaps I am too attached to the Who to allow for them to be done a capella.

8:28 Maxx Factor are back with bedazzled blazers and shoulder pads. They’re doing a Beach Boys medley. I really hope they don’t ruin harmonies that are so pure and sweet with their barbershop sound. The harmonies are nice, but I can’t get past this group singing the Beach Boys. There’s some things you don’t try and touch, and Brian Wilson’s brain candy harmonies are one of them.

8:32 Due to the content of his latest album, I know that Ben Folds was recently divorced. I hope his standards haven’t been lowed to the point of needing to compliment Maxx Factor’s wardrobe to get some. Nicole is back to making punny compliments. The judges all respect their ability, but I don’t love their style.

8:39 The SoCals are doing a Journey medley. STEEEEEVE PERRY! Each one of their leads sounds better than the next. The only part I didn’t like was the attempt at singing the guitar solo in “Don’t Stop Believing.”

8:43 Nice pun Nick. “Taking a journey with the SoCals.” Now what is Nicole doing to say? Probably something about “believing.” Ben actually liked the guitar solo, and Nicole said she wanted it to sing her to sleep every night. That prompted the dude singing it to offer his phone number to Nicole, garnering mass applause from the audience and judges.

8:51 The Doobie Brothers would lend themselves perfectly to a vocal medley, but Voices of Lee are doing the Beatles. So not only do they have to overcome the stigma of attempting the Beatles, but they also have to overcome not doing the Doobie Brothers. Part of the reason the Beatles stopped touring was because of songs like “Paperback Writer.” Vocal groups can execute those harmonies live, and Voices of Lee does. The girl singing lead on “Oh! Darling” sounds great, but she lacks the raw quality of Paul’s vocals.

8:56 Shawn thinks she nailed Paul’s soul. Maybe he’s a little biased, coming from a clean and pure vocal group.

9:02 The Beelzebubs and Voices of Lee advance. Nota is also safe. No real shock in those three choices.

9:03 I like the Top Chef-esque way that Nick Lachey points out all the low points in their performances before announcing who gets eliminated.

9:04 The SoCals stay alive. Thankfully Maxx Factor is going home. They’re even ruining one of my all-time favorite camp songs, “Leavin’ On a Jet Plane.”

9:11 The judges picked “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel for Nota. I love that choice, but the guys in Nota don’t seem to know it. I hope they rise to the challenge. These guys are ridiculous. The stuff they came up with for the back up vocals literally dropped my jaw. They’re even infusing their Latin flavor into it. Nobody will beat this band.

9:14 Ben Folds likened challenging them with “Sledgehammer” to testing an A student. He knows they’re the best. Shawn dug in and went for some criticism. I don’t want it to be against Nota, but at least one of the judges had their balls drop.

9:20 Nicole said that the Beelzebubs make her laugh, and the judges giving them “Sweet Caroline” makes me laugh. This is a new lead from the Bubs, and he sounds awesome. Bribing Nicole with flowers is probably unnecessary.

9:24 Nicole sees the creepiness in the manufactured nature of the Bubs, that I saw in Noteworthy.

9:31 “Hazy Shade of Winter” is the judges pick for the SoCals. The group is very good, but this performance is not as strong as Nota and the Bubs.

9:36 The SoCals probably received the most criticism I’ve heard from the judges, though it was pretty mild. Nicole avoided negativity by making a general statement that had nothing to do with anything.

9:41 Voices of Lee have been given “Man in the Mirror.” Who doesn’t love that Michael Jackson song? Their arrangement sounds nice, but the performance is as dead as Jacko himself. The energy just isn’t there.

9:44 Shawn also didn’t feel the power that “Man in the Mirror” has. He even fended off the audience’s boos when he offered up his criticism with a well thought out and articulated point. He even sung to demonstrate it. Nicole also agrees they didn’t bring it for this one. On no! Ben Folds just went down a notch in my book, saying he wasn’t that familiar with this song.

9:53 The Beelzebubs are the first band to advance to the live finale on December 21. Nota also advances. This marks the end of my hometown SoCals. At least Voices of Lee have one last chance to sing “Jesus Is Just Alright.”

9:57 The SoCals are singing White Snake for their Swan Song. That was awesome. I’ll miss those guys.

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